Zolkples-Karim feud heats up

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KUALA LUMPUR: The running battle between Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim and National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong heated up with a conspiracy theory and a plot to oust the former.

Zolkples in refuting claims that there was any conspiracy to oust Karim as reported in the media, said NSC’s focus now was geared towards the SEA Games preparations and efforts to qualify for the Olympics.

“Our main focus now is the preparation of athletes and the conspiracy theory does not arise. There is also no element of sabotage because training athletes is in our plan. We too want to see athletes succeed,” he told reporters after visiting the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome in Cheras here yesterday.

Karim had on Wednesday urged the NSC to speed up the allocation for sending athletes for training in Europe after the initial plans to train at the Ranau Sports Complex in Sabah was aborted.

The outspoken Karim had also alleged that there was a conspiracy by NSC to oust him from the MAAU. — Bernama

“I did not appoint or elect him (Karim). So, I have no reason to ask him to quit,” said Zolkples.

According to Zolkples, the NSC committee that met yesterday had allocated RM301,006 for the training programmes of elite and back athletes this year.

From the total, RM177,782 was for the training cum competition stint in Bulgaria from May 28 to July 3, involving 11 athletes, namely Mohd Noor Imran A Hadi, Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, P Yuvaraj, Mohd Jironi Riduan, K Ganthimanthi, Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Yee Li Leng, Norjannah Hafiszah, Siti Fatimah Mohamed, Nurul Ssarah Abd Kadir, S Mathialagan and two coaches (Harun Rasheed and K Jayabalan).

Meanwhile, Zolkples said he would visit all the venues identified for the 14th SUKMA in Kuala Lumpur, to ensure all preparations and facilities are ready.

He added that the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome was currently being upgraded by City Hall and that its progress would be closely monitored. — Bernama